If you are an older rider who still enjoys the freedom and fun of a long bike ride, an electric bike can be a great investment. Electric bikes help senior riders navigate steep hills and avoid exhaustion during longer rides, while still providing an excellent full-body workout that will keep you fit and strong well into your later years.
However, older bikers who are looking for a suitable electric bike should choose carefully, as some models are more accommodating than others. If you are looking for an electric bike suitable for a silver cyclist, look for a model with the following useful features:
The lithium batteries used to power the vast majority of electric bikes weigh several pounds, so electric bikes inevitably weigh more than their purely pedal-powered counterparts. This can be problematic for seniors with limited strength and/or mobility if you need to pick up a toppled bike or lift it over obstacles such as cattle grates.
Ideally, your new electric bike should be light enough for you to pick up and carry for short distances relatively easily. This may mean making compromises on battery size, and smaller batteries inevitably have less power and capacity than larger batteries.
However, it is possible to find lightweight bikes with powerful batteries. Electric bikes with frames made of aluminum or titanium alloy are considerably lighter than steel bikes, regardless of battery size. It may also be worth investing in a newer bike model since lithium batteries get smaller, lighter, and more efficient every year.
Low Step-Thru Design
If you have less mobility in your hips and knees than you used to, mounting an electric bike with a conventional step-over configuration can be tough. Step-thru bikes are a more senior-friendly option. The frames of these bikes lack the high top tube of step-over bikes. The lowest step-thru designs allow riders to mount their bikes without raising their foot more than a few inches.
Upright Riding Position
A hunched-over riding position may be aerodynamic, but it can also be hard on your lower back. For added comfort on long electric bike journeys, look for electric bikes that allow their riders to remain upright while riding. These bikes are sometimes referred to as 'sit-up-and-beg' bikes.
Bikes that are suitable for upright riding will have swept-back handlebars and relatively low, wide saddles that allow riders to place most of their weight on them without discomfort. Make sure the electric bike you choose has a fully adjustable saddle height for maximum long-distance comfort.
Front And Rear Suspension
Senior-friendly electric bikes should also have soft, relatively forgiving suspension over both the front and back wheels. These shock absorbers will help to smooth out any bumps in the road that can jar your joints and muscles, and are essential for senior electric bike riders who want to take their new rides off-road.
Visit a bike retailer to learn more about electric bikes.